AudreyKimberly146 asks: Hi, I’m 11 years old and I’m from Indonesia. I love my family, but sometimes they are so annoying. Once I dropped a phone because of my big sis nudging me. She said “sorry” to me, but when Mom asked who dropped the phone, she pointed at me. I explained that my big sis nudged me, but I also told Mom that she has said sorry! Then she yelled at me saying that she never said that and that saying so was an evil thing! And added, “how could you dare blaming your own big sister?” in a mad voice. So, my Mom was angry at me because I’d dropped the phone and blamed my sister! I don’t know what to say to my big sis! Please help me!
Hi AudreyKimberly146 –
Wow this is a really tough and rotten situation you’re in! Tough because it’s hard to know what to do, and rotten because it’s totally unfair, and based in what sounds like a lie!
If I understand correctly, there’s nothing happening now about this, right? In other words, you’re not still in trouble or anything? Because if so, that means you have the advantage of time. There’s nothing you need to rush into.
And if that’s the case, then here’s what I think would be a good idea. Go up to your sister, alone (not with anyone else around), and tell her how much this hurt your feelings. If she apologizes and explains (maybe your mom had been really tough on her lately, and she just couldn’t take getting yelled at anymore, for example), then you can agree to get along, and she can maybe promise not to do anything like that again. And if so, you could try to forgive her, and understand that she’s not perfect, and move on with your lives.
But if she doesn’t – if she again says she didn’t say “Sorry,” or bump into you, and refuses to apologize – then you can calmly tell her that you can’t be her friend until she does. And then, just easily, quietly, give her what’s called a Silent Treatment. It’s not that you can’t ever speak to her at all, such as to say, “please pass me the satay” (I loooooove food from Indonesia by the way, though I usually can’t eat it as spicy as you people do!), but you just don’t talk with her about anything else. You don’t talk with her about your day or ask her about hers. You don’t offer to play with her, or ask her to play with you.
This will probably bother her a lot. She’ll feel very uncomfortable, and maybe even a bit angry. Just stay cool. If she confronts you about it, just explain that she treated you like she doesn’t want to be your friend, so you’re just doing the same back. And go back to the silence.
Eventually, one of two things will probably happen. Either she will, annoyedly, tell you she’s sorry and that yes she bumped into you and kind of lied (and if that happens, you should just smile, thank her, and become her friend again as if nothing bad ever happened – you’ve won the battle!), or you’ll get tired of playing this role after a while, and start acting normally with her even though she never apologized. And if that happens – that’s okay too. She’ll still have learned that she can’t get away with doing things like this without any consequence. So you’ll still win.
Now I do need to throw in one tiny warning: AudreyKimberly146, are you absolutely positive she said “Sorry” to you? Because if you just think she said it, but aren’t sure, maybe she isn’t lying. And if not, then you’d just make a bad situation even worse by doing this. So if you’re not sure, maybe it’s best to just let it slide.
But if you are sure… There have been times I’ve gotten really mad at Handsome, usually because he’s ignored me for a while. And when he does that, I do just this to him. I don’t sit by him anymore, I sleep on the floor instead of on his bed, I go out and play whenever I can… And it gets him really bothered. I’ll still come when he calls, eat what he feeds me, and all that usual stuff. I just won’t choose to act friendly to him the rest of the time.
And let me tell you, it works! He gets frustrated and sad and hurt, and starts to play with me a lot, and tells me he’s sorry for having been so busy, and usually goes out and gets me something really special to eat! And then we get to become best friends again, and life is great.
So that’s my best suggestion. No tantrum, no fight. Just calm neglect. It works like a charm.